The Ministry of Culture of Albania, the Butrint Management Foundation (BMF) and design competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), have launched the global search for a dedicated and gifted architectural team to design a new visitor center for Butrint National Park, an exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) on Albania’s Ionian coastline.
Crucially, the new visitor center, expected to be carbon neutral, is intended to help the site better manage rising visitor numbers, projected to reach an annual 400,000 by 2030. The new center, of up to 1,000 sqm, must receive, welcome and orient visitors, interpret the site, convey the Outstanding Universal Values of the WHS, and be a gateway to the wider National Park and a regional hub for other nearby natural and cultural visitor attractions.
The center will be located approximately 1.5 kilometers from the entrance to the ancient city, in a spectacular location with panoramic views overlooking the Vivari Channel and the Mediterranean Sea. The project’s initial funding of USD $2.45m has been secured and the project has a fast-track timetable: the finished building is due to open in September 2025.
The official language of the International Design Competition For Butrint National Park Visitor Center is English. No design is required at the first stage — rather designers will need to study the Search Statement (available to download from the competition website) and submit their team composition, approach to the project, relevant experience and pre-qualification questionnaire through a digital form on the website.
The competition requires integrated multidisciplinary design teams comprising as a minimum: architect (and lead designer), landscape architect, masterplanner, exhibition and interpretation designer, archaeologist, engineering disciplines including sustainability, cost consultant and a wayfinding consultant.